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Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Samuel Beckett
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16. Juni 2009 0802144470 978-0802144478
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) The first novel of Samuel Beckett's mordant and exhilarating midcentury trilogy introduces us to Molloy, who has been mysteriously incarcerated, and who subsequently escapes to go discover the whereabouts of his mother. In the latter part of this curious masterwork, a certain Jacques Moran is deputized by anonymous authorities to search for the aforementioned Molloy. In the trilogy's second novel, Malone, who might or might not be Molloy himself, addresses us with his ruminations while in the act of dying. The third novel consists of the fragmented monologue-delivered, like the monologues of the previous novels, in a mournful rhetoric that possesses the utmost splendor and beauty-of what might or might not be an armless and legless creature living in an urn outside an eating house. Taken together, these three novels represent the high-water mark of the literary movement we call Modernism. Within their linguistic terrain, where stories are taken up, broken off, and taken up again, where voices rise and crumble and are resurrected, we can discern the essential lineaments of our modern condition, and encounter an awesome vision, tragic yet always compelling and always mysteriously invigorating, of consciousness trapped and struggling inside the boundaries of nature.

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Three Novels: Molloy, Malone Dies, the Unnamable + Complete Dramatic Works + The Complete Short Prose of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1989 (Beckett, Samuel)
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  • Taschenbuch: 407 Seiten
  • Verlag: Grove/Atlantic Inc (16. Juni 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0802144470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802144478
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,9 x 14,1 x 2,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (17 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 22.655 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Samuel Beckett's brilliance as a dramatist--as the creator of Waiting for Godot, Krapp's Last Tape, and that despairing pas de deux Endgame--has tended to overshadow his gifts as a novelist. Yet he's unmistakably one of the great fiction writers of our century. As a young man he took dictation (literally) from James Joyce, and absorbed everything that myopic maestro had to offer when it came to Anglo-Irish prosody. Still, Beckett's instincts would ultimately steer him away from Joyce's delirious play with high and low diction, toward a more concentrated, even compulsive style. His earlier novels, like Murphy or Watt, give us a taste of what was to come. But Beckett truly hit his stride with a trilogy of early-1950s masterpieces: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable. Here he dispenses with all the customary props of contemporary fiction--including exposition, plot, and increasingly, paragraphs--and turns his attention to consciousness itself. Nobody has ever evoked the pain of existence, or the steady slide toward nonexistence, with such poetic, garrulous accuracy. And once you've attuned yourself to the epistemological vaudeville of Beckett's prose, he turns out to be the funniest writer on the planet--ever.

None of the three entries in the trilogy is exactly amenable to summary. It's fair to say, though, that Molloy is the easiest to read, with at least a bare-bones narrative and an abundance of comical set pieces. In one famous episode, the narrator spends page after page figuring out how to vary the sucking stones he carries in his pockets:

And while I gazed thus at my stones, revolving interminable martingales all equally defective, and crushing handfuls of sand, so that the sand ran through my fingers and fell back on the strand, yes, while thus I lulled my mind and part of my body, one day suddenly it dawned on the former, dimly, that I might perhaps achieve my purpose without increasing the number of my pockets, or reducing the number of my stones, but simply by sacrificing the principle of trim. The meaning of this illumination, which suddenly began to sing within me, like a verse of Isaiah, or of Jeremiah, I did not penetrate at once, and notably the word trim, which I had never met with, in this sense, long remained obscure.
This nutty ratiocination goes on for much, much longer, until the narrator loses patience and throws the stones away. And that's a fair encapsulation of Beckett's philosophy: he argues for the essential pointlessness of life--the solitary, wretched splendor of human existence--but does so in a comic rather than a tragic register, which ends up softening or even overpowering the bleakness of his initial premise. So Malone Dies opens with a typically morbid mood-lifter ("I shall soon be quite dead at last in spite of it all") and then makes endless comedic hay out of Malone's failure to keel over. And by the time we hit The Unnamable, we're forced to wonder whether the narrator actually exists: "I, say I. Unbelieving. Questions, hypotheses, call them that. Keep going, going on, call that going, call that on." Happily, Beckett worried these same questions and hypotheses to the end of his career, with increasingly minimalistic gusto. But he never topped the intensity or linguistic brilliance of this mind-bending three-part invention. --James Marcus -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


"Beckett is one of the most positive writers alive. Behind all his mournful blasphemies against man there is real love. And he is genuine: every sentence is written as if it had been lived."--"The New York Times Book Review" "[Beckett] possesses fierce intellectual honesty, and his prose has a bare, involuted rhythm that is almost hypnotic."--"Time" "Samuel Beckett is sui generis...He has given a voice to the decrepit and maimed and inarticulate, men and women at the end of their tether, past pose or pretense, past claim of meaningful existence. He seems to say that only there and then, as metabolism lowers, amid God's paucity, not his plenty, can the core of the human condition be approached...Yet his musical cadences, his wrought and precise sentences, cannot help but stave off the void...Like salamanders we survive in his fire."--Richard Ellmann "[Beckett] is an incomparable spellbinder...a serious writer with something serious to say about the human condition."--"The New York Times"

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The ultimate prose distillation 23. Dezember 1999
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
It's a pity more people don't read Beckett and cannot seem to enjoy him. The trilogy stands right up there with Ulysses as perhaps the greatest work of the century. With Beckett, who needs a plot? Prose has never been more austerely beautiful and never will be again, after Beckett. Yes, there are some maddening scenes in these three inter-related novels and, yes, there is no conventional "plot," but what we have is a distillation of the bare-boned dilemma of existence. When sad, pathetic, tormented Malone (let's not kid ourselves, he's Everyman) lies in his forlorn room watching the sky from his window, there is no more beautiful poetry in the English language. The moon, in Beckett, is truly the moon. At his very greatest, when he is wringing that stark, cold cosmic beauty from despair, Beckett is the finest writer of the century, better even than Joyce. Such a sad shame that this great trilogy will never be read or appreciated except by such few people. It's just the best there is. Period.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The greatest writer of the twentieth century 30. August 1997
Von Ein Kunde
These three novels are the best of the 20th century.

They contain all the beauty, despair, and spareness that makes Beckett the patron writer of our century. They get at the core of what it means to be a self in the midst of the void, having, against one's will, a self's attendant thoughts, words, stories, and imagination. "I, say I. Unbelieving" says Beckett in the first line of The Unnamable, and you can believe him. These novels are as metaphysical as novels get, asking sincerely what it means to be. And asking just as sincerely if language can ever help us figure that out.

Each novel, with Molloy on his crutches, Malone in his death-bed, The Unnamable in his skull, is screamingly funny and cryingly horrible. Beckett's sense of the absurd and the ridiculous are only matched by his encyclopedic knowledge and overwhelming but strangely life-affirming pessimism, which helps us go on as we laugh at the world's collection of whimsies.

There are no novels better. There are few funnier. There are none containing more truth.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Just Confusion; or Does it Make sense after all? 10. Dezember 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Samuel Beckett's works here present a painstakingly crafted alternate dimension of the mind. The myriad of expression and wordings of this trilogy is unparalleled in any other works I have read. The books forcibly immerse the reader into the twisted experiences of the characters, scrawling the pages with absolutely lucid confusion. Very very very difficult reading, but if you can make your way through the convoluted prose, Samuel Beckett's storytelling draws and leads masterfully within these works. Reading these, I seldom came back up to breathe.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Brilliant Experience of Language 17. Juni 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Many do not even know that Beckett wrote novels; these are his finest. Molloy itself is a masterpiece of stream-of-consciousness modernism--linking a simple vagabond named Molloy, with a lofty mind, to a sinister agent corrupt in thought sent to find Molloy. As the controlled agent gets closer to who Molloy is, he himself begins to fall apart and see life differently. Malone Dies is simply the mental construction of a dying man seeking to fill out his last living moments with three imaginative "stories." All three of these novels are immersed in words and are more an experience of language. The unnamable is truly that, nothing is specified or real, but in a fictive, engrossing manner, Beckett attempts to describe the unnamble in human life without ever naming it. Each of these books are amazing independently, but they deserve to be read as a whole as they form an engrossing and closed trilogy. If you read this, you will read language crafted by Beckett which communicates the unimaginable--thoughts close to everyman, but thoughts which you thought were inexpressible with language. Don't be wary of the language, this is a reading experience that will take you whole and speedily through the pages.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen I can't read on... 30. Oktober 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
It is easy to criticize what you don't understand, have never tried, or never lived -- and then make a balls of it. The writing of Beckett -- all of Beckett -- is a discovery of change in literature, in writing, and philosophy. Discovery is failure, pleasure, fun, and game. This is not the same as any other book, and there is its originality, its life-breath and its passion. If you don't enjoy reading it, for god's sake put it down. It isn't for everyone, but for those whom it is, you'll read on...
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Beckett's commentary on the human condition, with all its loneliness, apparent inanity, and futility is full of humor. When Moran is dispatched to find Molloy, he never sees him even though Molloy contemplates him as A and C on the first few pages of his own monologue. The Unnamable only makes sense (and it makes perfect sense, in fact much more than Molloy and Malone Dies) when you realize what the unnamable is. It is always three feet away from Malone, sees him only from the waist up, is forced to go in and out until it repeatedly vomits, associates himself with Ma(n)hood, and weeps continously with waste from his one eye. It is a male reproductive organ convinced that it is human, making up stories to attempt to understand its existence, and it actually seems more alive than Molloy, Moran, and Malone! It explains everything that happens (the strange shifts in night and day, hard and soft, the lack of limbs that it thinks it has lost) in the Unnamable. This brilliant technique shows mans ultimate ignorance of himself and his attempt to rationalize an existence he cannot understand. As the genitals serve man in a purpose they cannot understand and consider torture in creating life and removing poisons from the body, so does the irrational suffering of the human condition serve a higher purpose even though we cannot comprehend what it is or even what we are from our vantage point.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This edition makes it nice
The above reviewers have said enough and nicely that in terms of Beckett. Get this editon. It holds nicely, the pages not only turn well with easy indention of the fingertip, they... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 21. Juli 2000 von Gerard V. Furey
5.0 von 5 Sternen Work of Genius
I first read these three novels (in the fabulous German translation) when I was eighteen, and that was an experience that totally hooked me into literature and probably saved... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 22. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A work of art
This is a clever, funny book. Unnameable (aka "Unreadable") is some tough going, but Molloy and Malone Dies are quite clever. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 6. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen and its funny as hell, too
While not wishing to underplay the seriousness of this work as described by the other reviewers, I need to point out to potential readers just how amusing Beckett is. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 19. November 1999 veröffentlicht
2.0 von 5 Sternen trivializes and debases the geriatric mind
Presumes to lay bare the geriatric mind, but comes nowhere near. Based on the ludicrous proposition that the aging process is hellish and unnatural. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 22. August 1999 von S. Clark
All the narrators-Molloy, Malone, the Unnameable-are schizophrenic, as G.C. Barnard has noted; however, Beckett is not investigating varieties of the illness. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 1999 von Richard Stephenson
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fresh air in the stale world of words
The rythym of the trilogy pounds away at the stale and leaves you with a renewed sense that writing as an art form is far from dead.
Am 16. Juni 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen brilliant in everyway
The first real novel about art, writing, consciousness, identity and humanity all rolled into an unalloyed fierce centre of integrity.
Am 16. März 1999 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen The most essential work of fiction since Ulysses
In the Trilogy Beckett finds the only means to silence: to have never begun.
Am 7. Februar 1999 veröffentlicht
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